In recently published research from the National Democratic Institute, one can find out what citizens of Georgia think about the case of Afgan Mukhtarli and many other topics
The level of support for political parties in Georgia has again plummeted; three months ahead of elections for local positions and self-governing bodies, 62% of voters have no political favorite. It is not entirely impossible that the authorities’ candidate will win the mayorship of Tbilisi in the first round of voting.
Herewith the research results done by the the National Democratic Institute regarding the topic:
The political ratings are as follows: to the question “whom would you vote for if the elections for self-governing bodies were to be held tomorrow?”, 27% of those questioned said they would vote for the ruling ‘Georgian Dream’ party, 8% said for the ‘United National Movement’ (UNM – the party of Mikheil Saakashvili), 3% for ‘European Georgia’ (a party that was formed as a result of a schism in the UNM), 35% were unable to answer the question and 15% refused to answer.
The positions of the candidates for the mayorship of Tbilisi were, according to the survey, distributed as follows: 37% of those questioned, who will ostensibly vote in the elections, will vote for the ruling Georgian Dream candidate Kakha Kaladze.
After him in second place, the opposition’s candidate, Aleko Elisashvili at 22%, followed by Zaal Udumashvili from the UNM at 16% and in fourth place from European Georgia, Elene Khostariya (5%).
Of those surveyed, 62% were unable to decide whom to vote for, while 35% already know for whom they will vote.
Also, 7% of those surveyed were unable to name a party whose political platforms for the most part coincides with their views, 6% refused to answer this question, 23% said the views of the Georgian Dream party coincided with their own, 9% said the same for the UNM, and 4% said European Georgia and Alliance of Patriots parties held views close t their own.
Of those surveyed, 32% believe that the main problem of free and fair elections is the buying of voters, and 18% believe that there is pressure on the electorate.
«Ivanishvili runs the country»
Of those questioned, 59% agreed with the statement that former Premier Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who left the position three years ago and does not have any government position, is still the main influence on the authorities in the country.
Moreover, 56% of those surveyed wish that Bidzina Ivanishvili would cease his participation in political processes.
Efficiency of institutions
One third of those questioned by the NDI as to how different government institutions work said, ‘Not well, not bad’.
While 51% of respondents believe that the situation with the freedom of press is well-secured, 18% of respondents have the opposite opinion, and 28% assess the situation as ‘not bad, not good’.
Only 35% believe that elections in Georgia are fair and free, while 28% hold the opposite belief and 29% of those questioned believed that elections are held on a level described as ‘not bad, not good’.
Only 36% of those surveyed said that human rights in Georgia are protected, where 32% see issues with human rights in the country and 28% saying that the situation is ‘not bad, not good’.
Only 28% believe that the fight against corruption is successfully being implemented, and just as many believe that it has been without results. Another 30% claim that the fight against corruption is ‘not going badly, but not well either’.
Gender equality policy
Of those surveyed, 49% believe the presence of an equal number of men and women in political parties is important, while 46% considered the question insignificant.
More than half of those questioned (58%) believe that a woman and a man would both do an equally good job of being mayor, while 29% are convinced that a man would be better suited to deal with the responsibilities of mayorship.
According to the opinion of 78% of those questioned, both men and women have equal opportunities when working as an MP, with 77% believing the same when it comes to working in the ‘sakrebulo’, self-governing bodies.
The case of Afgan Mukhtarli
Questions concerning the case of the Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli were also included.
At least 72% of those questioned were informed about the case, while 26% were not. Over 82% believe that the responsibility for the event lies with the Georgian authorities because they were obliged to provide him with the protection of human rights.
At 56%, respondents believe that the kidnapping of Afgan Mukhtarli has negatively affected Georgia, as both a regional leader in both the spheres of human rights protection and in freedom of the press. Only 2% believe that the kidnapping of the journalist will worsen the reputation of the Georgian government, and 15% believe that this fact will in no way affect the image of the country.
Afgan Mukhtarli disappeared from Tbilisi on 29 May. One day later, it became evident that he was in prison in Baku. Mukhtarli claims that he was kidnapped from the capital of Georgia by criminal factions of the police. According to information from the Azerbaijani authorities, Mukhtarli was arrested for illegally crossing the border and has been sentenced to a three-month pre-trial detention. In Georgia, the investigation of this case is still ongoing.
Research was carried out with the financial assistance of UK Aid, and the survey was completed by CRRS – Georgia. Surveys were conducted from 18 June to 9 July, all across Georgia with the exception of the occupied territories. A total of 2261 people were questioned for the survey.